Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Barcelona Rock / Metal / Alternative Scene

I went on holiday to Barcelona (13th-20th September 2016), and decided to check out as many Rock/Metal/Goth/Alternative venues as I could while I was there. Barcelona has a reputation for being a 'City of Heavy Metal', so I felt duty bound to investigate and write about it. I did some research on the internet before I went, but most of the information was out of date, and a number of the rock bars that had been written about online had been closed down for some time. Obviously all the information I'm writing is currently accurate, but if you're reading the article some point in the future, it's always worth making sure that the venues still exist by checking the internet.

If I've left out any particularly cool clubs or bars, please feel free to mention them in the comments section below. Additionally, if any of the venues close or relocate in the future, please feel free to mention this in the comments section to help provide accurate information.

Here's a list of the places I visited:

1. The Bollocks (Bar)
2. Ballbreaker (Bar)
3. Hell Awaits (Bar)
4. Nevermind (Bar)
5. Undead Dark Club
6. Pentagram (Record Shop)
7. Revolver (Record Shop)
8. Daily Records (Record Shop)



1. THE BOLLOCKS
Carrer Ample, 46, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Facebook: https://es-es.facebook.com/BollocksBcn 

The Bollocks is a rock bar in the Gothic Quarter, so if you're a tourist you'll almost certainly end up in this part of town. I'm fairly sure the nearest tube station is 'Barceloneta', and it's only a short walk from there. It's quite a small bar, and has some amazing graffiti-meets-Heavy Metal decor. There's a large screen with music videos on rotation, and while I was there, a good mix of music was played. I remember hearing Alice Cooper, Danzig, Chrome Division and Helmet amongst many others. They sell food and have a burger challenge too- CLICK HERE to see a video of the burger challenge in action!. I'm not sure what you win if you complete it, other than a night on the bog, but there were enough photos on the wall of people who had completed the challenge to prove its popular. The drinks were cheap compared to other bars in the area, and they had a number of themed cocktails available. I had an 'Ozzy Bourbon'. It was pretty strong, and I'm sure I'd have ended up sounding like Ozzy if I'd had too many. So to conclude, it was a really cool little bar with good prices and cool decoration. Definitely worth a visit. 


The Bollocks Barcelona

The Bollocks Barcelona

The Bollocks Barcelona

The Bollocks Barcelona

The Bollocks Barcelona
The Bollocks Barcelona
Dan Peach at The Bollocks Barcelona


2. BALLBREAKER
08012, Carrer de Matilde, 7, 08012 Barcelona
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ballbreakergracia 

This is a Rock / Heavy Metal themed bar in the middle of the city, but a little way out of the main tourist area. It's about half way between the tube stations 'Fontana' and 'Diagonal'. This bar has a reputation for craft beers. I read online that this was an Irish bar, but aside from a Thin Lizzy poster there's nothing Irish about it. It's basically a pub full of locals who love Heavy Metal. The walls are covered in Metal posters and concert tickets. The drinks were relatively cheap too. It's a fairly small bar, but has plenty of seating throughout. It even has table football and a darts board. When I was there, most of the music was 'Old School Metal'. I get the impression that that's the style most played at Ballbreaker, which is fine with me. If you're looking for a bar to relax in with a craft beer and some AC/DC in the background, this is the place for you.

Ballbreaker bar Barcelona

Ballbreaker bar Barcelona

Ballbreaker bar Barcelona

Ballbreaker bar Barcelona

Ballbreaker bar Barcelona

Ballbreaker bar Barcelona

Ballbreaker bar Barcelona



3. HELL AWAITS
Carrer de les Tàpies, 21, 08001 Barcelona
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hell-Awaits/192792520748618 

Hell Awaits is a Heavy Metal bar just over the road from the subway station 'Paral-lel'. Named after the Slayer album, it was no surprise that this was more of a Thrash themed bar. When I arrived, Kreator was playing on the screen above the bar. They have some great artwork at Hell Awaits, including a huge Eddie (from Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind era) at the end of the bar, a Motorhead War-pig above the door, and opposite that, a lit up Hell Awaits logo. They have table football here too. The drink prices are reasonable, and there's a really friendly atmosphere making Hell Awaits an essential bar to visit.

Hell Awaits bar Barcelona

Hell Awaits bar Barcelona

Hell Awaits bar Barcelona

Hell Awaits bar Barcelona

Hell Awaits bar Barcelona

Hell Awaits bar Barcelona

Hell Awaits bar Barcelona

Hell Awaits bar Barcelona

Hell Awaits bar Barcelona



4. NEVERMIND
Escudellers Blancs 3, 08002 Barcelona
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NevermindBcn

This is a Grunge Bar located a short walk away from the Liceu tube station, which is about half way down La Rambla. The artwork is very much themed around skateboarding and related imagery. There are skateboards used as shelves, really cool artwork on the walls, and ...wait for it....they do free popcorn! The drinks are very reasonably priced, especially considering that the bar is in a tourist hotspot. There is also a happy hour which lasts for three hours (19:00-22:00), and plenty of themed cocktails and chupitos (shots) available. The bar is very busy and has a vibrant atmosphere. It's close to some hostels, so this is a popular bar with young travellers, and students blatantly on their gap year. It's a hive of activity and definitely worth a visit.

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Nevermind bar Barcelona

Dan Peach at Nevermind Barcelona



5. UNDEAD DARK CLUB
Carrer Violant d'Hongria, 128, 08028 Barcelona
http://www.undeadarkclub.com/

 
I went to this club twice during my stay in Barcelona. It's a very short walk from the tube station Plaça del Centre. Unlike most clubs in the UK which open between 10pm and 2am, clubs in Barcelona open much later. Undead Dark Club opens at 12:30 at night and closes at 6am. Fridays are 'Metal' nights. On the Friday that I was there it was billed as 'Metalzone vs Hellfire Club'. This particular night was free admission if you added your name to their Facebook event page. The DJs played a good mix of old school and contemporary metal, as well as some Thrash and Death metal.

Saturdays are 'Goth' nights. The Saturday I visited was called the 'Barcelona Gothic Meeting 2016' and featured DJs playing Goth classics, as well as plenty of obscure and modern tracks. The dance floor was busy throughout, indicating a thriving and passionate Goth scene in Barcelona. The venue lends itself perfectly to this genre of music with its amazing Gothic decor. I was impressed by the attention to detail and the pure love that has clearly been put into the club. There are gargoyles above the bar, various statues, church windows and really cool paintings around. There are also themed drinks available, including an impressive list of chupitos (see the photo below- chupitos are shots). The atmosphere is really friendly and welcoming, and if you're looking for a late night Rock club, the Undead Dark Club comes highly recommended. 

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona

Undead Dark Club Barcelona



PENTAGRAM RECORDS
Carrer Sitges, 5, 08001 Barcelona
http://www.pentagrammusicstore.com/ 

Pentagram is located in one of the side streets near the top of La Rambla. It specialises in Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, and related genres. It has a great selection of CDs, vinyl, DVDs, T-Shirts and accessories. I noticed a lot of rare albums as well as new releases. If you're passionate about Metal, you'll love Pentagram.
Pentagram Records Barcelona

Pentagram Records Barcelona

Pentagram Records Barcelona

Pentagram Records Barcelona



DAILY RECORDS
Carrer de les Sitges, 9, 08001 Barcelona
https://www.dailyrecords.cat/en/ 

This shop is on the same street as Pentagram. It's quite small, but has a comprehensive selection of Punk, Hardcore, Ska and Indie CDs and Vinyl. It sells T-Shirts too.
Daily Records Barcelona

Daily Records Barcelona

Daily Records Barcelona

Daily Records Barcelona


REVOLVER RECORDS
Carrer dels Tallers, 11, 08001 Barcelona
http://www.revolverrecords.es/
C/ Tallers, 13, 08001 Barcelona
http://www.discos-revolver.com/ 

Revolver has two shops. They're both on the same street (just off the top of La Rambla), and are very close to each other. They are both large shops and have a vast amount of CDs/DVDs/Vinyl of every genre of music imaginable. The one with the green logo doesn't stock T-Shirts but has more bootlegs on sale alongside official releases (Click to enlarge the below photo and check out the AXL/DC vinyl in the shop window). The shop with the red logo is very similar but stocks T-Shirts and more accessories, such as band related beers etc. Both shops have fantastic stocks of music, and there are plenty of gems to be found. If you like your music in physical formats, both branches of Revolver are essential stops.

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records BarcelonaRevolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona


Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona

Revolver Records Barcelona


So there you have it.. a whirlwind tour of the alternative bars, clubs and record shops in Barcelona. It's an amazing city and well worth a visit.

Dan Peach Barcelona